21 GramsDirector: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts
Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu makes his first English-language feature with the downbeat drama 21 Grams. Set in an unnamed U.S. urban center, the film uses a nonlinear structure to piece together the intertwined lives of three very different people. Paul (Sean Penn) is a math teacher with a heart problem and a troubled marriage to British wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Christine (Naomi Watts) is a former drug addict who lives with her husband, Michael (Danny Huston), and her daughters. Jack (Benicio del Toro) is a born-again Christian with a wife (Melissa Leo) who has stood by him since his days as a criminal. Following a tragic accident, the three main characters are thrown into each other's lives. 21 Grams was shown in competition at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Alliance Canada
- Region Code:
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Benicio Del Toro||Jack|
|Alejandro González Iñárritu||Director,Producer|
|Guillermo Arriaga||Associate Producer,Screenwriter|
|Brigitte Broch||Production Designer|
|Jose Antonio Garcia||Sound/Sound Designer|
|James Alan Hensz||Asst. Director|
|Ted Hope||Executive Producer|
|Deborah Riley||Art Director|
|Gustavo Santaolalla||Score Composer|
|Michael Steele||Asst. Director|
|Marlene Stewart||Costumes/Costume Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is probably my favorite Inaritu film. As most everyone else here, I too was confused at the beginning but that was part of the fun. At least the film was given to you on a platter in typical cookie cutter fashion. This one has brains and deep deep emotion. Top notch acting and intense storytelling. Don't miss it!
Sean Penn proves his acting ability in this one. The entire cast is great. It takes a while for the movie to come together, but it is a really great show as it unfolds.
I saw this film in theatres and it was moving and electrifying! Sean Penn gives his usual performance of intense, yet somewhat bordered angst. He is the plot key to this film. Benicio del Toro gives another fine performance that is worn on his face. You can see the guilt just by looking at him. Naomi Watts gives a charged performance that gives the film its true blood and guts. She captures the damaged spirit of Christina without letting her lose control.(Especially when she gives the wrenching metaphorical 'paralyzed/amputee' outburst.) Brillianty and consistently acted. The bad thing is that somehow you don't really feel the true weight of it. Could it be the narrative for which this film is known for?
21 Grams is a must see film. I admit that when I saw it, I spent the first twenty or so minutes wondering just exactly what the movie was about--------but be patient! The director leads us down a twisting road, but when the pieces of the characters' lives come together----everything falls into place. Sean Penn, Benecio Del Toro and Naomi Watts are sensational. 21 Grams is one of the most emotional and heart-wrenching films I've ever seen.
This is a good movie with terrific acting. Being partially filmed in Memphis, the ending scenes in the desert are way out of place and took me out of the movie because the scenes look like they were shot as an afterthought and the actors had really bad make-up artists who couldn't replicate the actor's look from the rest of the film. Example, look at Benecio's hair.
Although Alejandro González Iñárritu's film is strongly performed by the talents of Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio del Toro, the sketchy non-linear plot and unrefined screenplay leave the audience tired and wanting for more. The plot follows the lives of three people and how they tragically intertwine. Sean Penn is a math teacher who needs a heart transplant. After a tragic accident where a born-again ex-con (Del Torro) kills a mother's (Watts) children and husband, Sean Penn receives the deceased father's heart and begins to return to full health. Penitent at being a hit-and-run driver, Benicio Del Torro is torn between his duty to his family, to God, and to society. In the mean time, Sean Penn begins to be amourosly involved with the donor's widow who's now returning to a cycle of drug addiction. Wrought with guilt and a sense of debt to the widow, Sean Penn promises to seek revenge on the hit-and-run driver who killed her family by killing him. The use of a non-linear plot is a good technique in showing how the three characters are joined together by disparate events which, at first, seem to have no correlation. Unfortunately, the choppy plot frutstrates the thematic elements of the story. After more than 2 hours, a depressed audience is left wondering as to what the message of this film is. Is it that life has a purpose or no purpose? That God is indifferent to human suffering and His actions without reason or purpose? Or is it that tragedy brings people together to a higher consciousness? The only indication of a theme is the narrator's reference to the soul weighing 21 grams. This would make sense if the film is about the power of religious faith or the need for spiritual salvation but neither of these elements are competently developed or explored. The plot never really develops any thematic message at all. Altogether a depressive film that conveys no clear message and leaves the audience wanting. I don't recommend it.
I AM A FAN OF THIS FILM'S DIRECTOR OTHER WORK, BUT THIS ONE IS JUST NOT WORTH SEEING. THE EDITING KILLS THE FILM, AND IS THE ONLY REASON PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO WATCH THE ENTIRE FILM BECAUSE THE END RESULT OF THE FILM IS GIVEN. THE ACTING IS FINE, BUT THIS IS MAGEZINE OR A SHORT STORY THAT IS STRETCHED OUT. YEAH, THE STORY IS GRIPPING, BUT ITS PACE AND JUMP EDITING RUINS IT. IT SEEMS SEAN PENN MADE TWO STINKERS BACK TO BACK WITH THIS AND "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE."
My Goodness, this film was bad. Not only did I get tired of the back and forth plot, the storyline made no sense to me. I was like, "huh??" through the whole thing. My husband felt it was a classic, though. Just not for me.